Blood Bowl is one of my favorite games. If I’m being honest, I dare say I enjoy a game of Blood Bowl more than 40K, and I love me some 40K. Note I said game though. Warhammer 40K has a history, a story, and life. Warhammer 40K is my favorite hobby though ;)
Anyway, subtle distinctions aside, the re-release of the game is on the horizon. I have yet to see a confirmed date, just a vague 2017. That’s fine though. The fact it’s being re-released, and will live once more, means I can wait until it’s good and ready.
I thought I’d give a brief overview of the game for anyone remotely interested in the game. Seriously, you should play.
Blood Bowl Is so Easy to Learn
The rules are based off the ruleset that the community created. The game was unsupported by GW for a very long time, so the community stepped up and kept the game running. GW decided to stick with the rules that everyone knows and gets my praise.
Learning the core rules of the game is easy and can be done in about 5 minutes. If you’re familiar with how simple the rules are for Warhammer 40K 8th edition then you’ll get the idea.
There are only 4 stats on a model to deal with: MA (move allowance), ST (strength), AG (agility), and AV (armor value). When you build your first team, there’s not many special rules to learn, what are called skills in Blood Bowl. So, unlike a game of 40K where you have to learn core mechanics, and then handfuls of special rules, it’s much simpler to get going in Blood Bowl.
The game only uses a few charts, which are easy to learn. The dice you’ll use for the game are special D6 dice that represent various effects. No buckets of dice needed to play.
Blood Bowl Sites
Speaking of, Games Workshop has an official site for Blood Bowl: http://www.bloodbowl.com/
You can also check out the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Blood-Bowl-219720111727104/
One thing I was really impressed with on the site is the video they did that teaches you the basics of Blood Bowl. It’s a 4 minute video that will give you a good grasp on how the game plays.
Cheap & Easy to Collect Teams
A team can only have 11 players on the pitch (playing field). The maximum size your team can be is 16 players, so you can bench some guys to cover the inevitable injuries that will occur.
As you can see, you don’t need many models, which keeps the game affordable, and also easy to get painted. I got my Human team painted in no time.
It also means you can collect multiple teams easily, seeing as the investment, both financial and time-wise, is pretty minimal.
Currently, you can buy a team for Blood Bowl for $35. That gets your 12 players, so one extra, and you’re good to play a game with them for only $35.
Building a Team
Building a team is where the fun begins too. Each team has different options, and they are generally very distinct. You will have to determine your starting roster, choosing from different types of players, and keep in mind how you plan to expand your team in the future. A bad starting roster can make for some frustration early on, so you do want to spend time considering your roster.
After each game you earn experience. Players will level up, get better stats, learn new skills, and some even get mutations like extra arms and tentacles. This is a simple RPG element that really keeps you interested and invested in your team throughout a season.
It’s So Much Fun to Play!
Blood Bowl is like Chess in that there’s tile based movement, and each model has varying movement distances. Unlike Chess though, each model can move in any direction.
While the game is easy to learn, it takes a lot of games to get good. It’s one of the most strategic games I have played.
One mistake during your turn and your turn is over. This means you have to thoroughly plan out your turns to minimize risk should you suffer a turnover.
The intention of the game is to score points, but most of the game you’re going to be blocking your opponent, trying to cause injuries, or even death. It’s basically gladiatorial American football where you beat your opponent into submission. So, it doesn’t matter if you like American football, it’s more like a backdrop to the fun most of the time!
There is so much absurdity in the game that makes it hilarious. Ogres who can pick up Snotlings carrying the football to throw them downfield. Goblins wielding chainsaws and assorted weapons to attack the opposing team with. Wizards in the stands who cast fireballs on to the field. Vampires who have to feed on their own team. You can’t help but laugh playing a game.
Oh, the games are quick too. With veteran coaches you can knock a game out in about 30 minutes. Like Chess, veterans tend to use turn timers to keep the game moving. Even without a turn timer, and inexperienced coaches playing, an hour long game would be pretty standard.
Ideally you will play a season with other coaches (players). Your team will rank up and get better over the course of the season. Eventually you will enter playoffs, and a final winner determined. This is where the real fun is with the game, the progression. You will have to learn to manage your team’s finances, deal with your roster and injuries, and push through the setbacks during the season. It’s like a campaign.
You Gotta Try It
Blood Bowl is seriously an incredibly fun game to play. It’s very unique and well designed.